Babe reveals a fascinating piece of information in his last letter: “I was in the movies about two months ago and if you saw it, you wouldn’t have missed seeing me. I was right in front and it was a movie of a USO show with Ella Logan.”
So now, of course, I’m wondering: Where can I put my hands on that movie? Does anyone have any ideas?
In a couple of other posts, I’ve covered some information about that USO tour with Logan, dancer Edith Delaney and accordionist Jerry Skelton. The threesome performed for the Fifth Army in Italy on at least one and probably several other occasions. Babe writes in this letter of Dec. 16, 1943, that he saw their show “tonight” — that night, the night of Dec. 16. That said, I’m not sure Babe is entirely reliable with his dates.
This post from a retired Air Force colonel makes reference to the same threesome’s show in Foggia, Italy, “right after Christmas,” and includes a photo with several servicemen, along with Logan and Delaney. And my earlier post detailing some information about the war widow/USO performer Delaney refers to performances in Italy that must have been in November 1943.
The tour was obviously noteworthy because it include Delaney, who forged on after her husband was killed in a key battle in North Africa in May 1943. Babe himself notes to his parents that “you will have read all about it.” Newspaper articles documented, so it’s not hard to believe there was a movie or newsreel about it.
But where would I find it?
3 thoughts on “Where Is the USO Movie That Includes Babe in the Front Row?”
Hi, Not sure if it will help tie down the details…
I have a similar stack of old letters from the war. My father was in the 1st Armored Division Band, and sent letters to my Grandmother from early 1941 to mid-1945. He played saxaphone and clarinet.
In a letter dated 19-December, 1943, he says:
“We played for a USO show yesterday, with Ella Logan, who you may have heard. There are other USO units on the way with Humphrey Bogart and Frederick March and we will no doubt work there also.”
Which puts the USO show he mentions on December 18, 1943.
I’d love to tie it to other details, if anyone has any, and that movie would also be a huge thing for me to see.
Rich, thanks for your comment. That’s really interesting. In this post, dated Dec. 16, 1943, my uncle says they saw the Ella Logan show “tonight.” So I wonder if it was the same show, and he got his date wrong (it wouldn’t surprise me), or if Ella Logan put on more than one nightly show for the Fifth Army troops.
Thanks much for commenting. I’ll have to see if I can find any sources for this. I haven’t had time (or success) so far.
I noticed the date difference, too.
Found an interesting clip, but most likely not the one we are searching for: